Thursday, January 31, 2008

barak obama is muslim, or Why the Fuck Should it Matter

the NYT is running a comment thread inspired by a CBS poll which asked the presidential candidates to select ONE book they consider essential to take to the White House, **other than the Bible**.

readers are asked to propose their shortlist of books that a would-be president should read before tackling the country's economic and financial state.

my favorite response so far is the following:

A good start (for America) would be:

1. The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, &
2. God is Not Great, by Christopher Hitchens

All else follows…

— Posted by GC Ross

and look, you don't even have to read the book -- the cliff notes are in
this 5min video.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

warning: Time Machine may have unintended effects

i have to wonder how much Apple tests its new technologies before sending them to market. are they fully aware of the capabilities? for instance, whenever i use the iphone's pretend-GPS+googlemaps to get from point A to point B i end up in a dario argento film. the only person to recognise them for what they were, loucypher asked are those rope burns?

then there is leopard's Time Machine, which at the outset seems like a very clever idea -- backups in the background -- but the consequences can in some cases be dire. example: this weekend while cleaning up Horace, my 500G music harddrive, i dropped a folder intended for the trashbin onto the Time Machine icon instead, and look what happened. NKOTB is back.

i'm terribly sorry about this and don't know how to undo what i've set into motion: cmd-Z proved ineffectual. maybe i can atone in another way? so i've just dropped this pic onto the TM icon:

stay tuned.

btw, here's a short, poignant recollection of ledger from christopher nolan, director of the upcoming dark knight. if you've not seen the trailer, go here (you want trailer 2 in hi-def). nothing in his pockets but knives and lint.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"feeding time causes a great deal of excitement"

i thought my house was bad, but at least there you can sit down without 6 cats crawling on top of you. christ. a little mustard gas would clear that right up.

cormac mccarthy is sanguine

don't think that just because someone writes a book named All the Pretty Horses he's all rainbows and flowers and shit. look at No Country for Old Men. did you see that? did you take a shower as soon as you got home, and did you crack open the raspberry body wash, a christmas present from someone who thinks you're a girl?

Blood Meridian's similarly cheery. here's a taste, but first the context:
our "protagonists" (a posse of indian hunters in the 1850s west) happen upon a long line of mules picking their way along a precipitous, switchbacked path on a mountain slope. the mules are loaded down with bags of mercury for the mines. out of sheer boredom, our band of happy travelers begins shooting the muleteers, and while bodies tumble off horses into the abyss below, the men press on, shoving their way between the mules and the mountain.

now that the scene's set:

the laden packmules were beginning to clamber white-eyed at the sheer wall of the bluff like enormous rats. The riders pushed between them and the rock and methodically rode them from the escarpment, the animals dropping silently as martyrs, turning sedately in the empty air and exploding on the rocks below in startling bursts of blood and silver as the flasks broke open and the mercury loomed wobbling in the air in great sheets and lobes and small trembling satellites and all its forms grouping below and racing in the stone arroyos like the imbreachment of some ultimate alchemic work decocted from out the secret dark of the earth's heart...
(chap xiv, p195)

at the time of reading, i really didn't like Blood Meridian; i found the endless march through waterless places dreary and fruitless and the constant inexplicable cruelty was a real downer. but i pressed on because something had to happen at the end -- and did it evah -- and you have to admit that the man can paint a scene... though it might not impact you 'til later.

because during the ride on sunday, when big don clattered through deep cracks in the shoulder off barksdale and i joked - you riding through the grand canyon? - suddenly that image of mules plummeting off the face of a mountain to explode like piggy's head on the rocks far below and the lobes of blood and silver wobbling, all that came back vivid as bruegel.

combing through the book to find that passage above, i found myself reading pages here & there, scenes i remember from the first time through: the idiot's baptism, dogs for sale, the judge's sentence on the kid: sie müssen schlafen aber Ich muss tanzen (they must sleep, but i have to dance). and i thought, i have to read this again, because sometimes after an initial recoil from a book, album or painting that artist becomes one of your favorites. but later, because i'm in the middle of The Ultimates vol2, in which thor loses that dorky winged helmet and becomes a total hottie and captain america isn't so ghey.

Monday, January 28, 2008

SOTU, florida, qtrax and my dog: predictions

big day today. let's see what's on tap, and my predictions.

1. Our Glorious Leader's FINAL state of the union thankfuckinggod. lemme guess -- the union is FINE and soze the economy. here's $600 to prove it -- but make sure you SPEND it quick. using it to pay down your credit card debt is un-american.

2. florida GOP primaries. will the giuliani faithful emerge from their foxholes and deliver their man to victory? my magic 8-ball says Cannot Predict Now, demonstrating that it is more even-handed and candid than your average media organisation.

here's one more reason to like rudy, though: tamper-proof ID cards that will allow you to "work, pay taxes, GET ONLINE, become a citizen, follow the rules..."

art is resistance, friends.

3. Qtrax, the record industry's answer to illegal downloading, goes live at midnite (for Windoze; macs wait 'til march). in the works for 5 years, qtrax is a gnutella-based peer-to-peer app that allows you to legally and for free download from a library of 25M songs. with the blessing of EMI, universal & warner, qtrax ponied up $30M USD to launch the site and hopes to run a profitable biz off selling adspace to the likes of ford, mcdonalds and microsoft. while supporting artists, of course.

prediction? i don't know, but i suspect the 10M users who patronise pirate bay aren't going to convert in droves, and qtrax's centralised, locked-down solution doesn't seem to address the new
one-to-one relationship between artists and their fans. the radiohead and saul williams business model is much more fitting but admittedly risky insofar as it assumes people have the basic decency, and means, to support the artists they enjoy.

here's the qtrax deal-breaker for me:

Automatic updates and downloads
You agree that in order for QTRAX/QTRAXMAX to work properly, QTRAX/QTRAXMAX will from time to time automatically download updates to your computer in order to update the QTRAX/QTRAXMAX software. You hereby irrevocably consent to allow such automatic updates to take place.
(from the legal disclaimer)
here in the united states of amerika we don't "irrevocably consent" to anything, much less third-party control over our computurz.

4. afternoon run with the J-dog. my predictions? - he will wheel 360s in the air when i don my inov-8s and murmur "yessss"; he will bark like a maniac for the first 5min, poop out around 5miles and take a shortcut to cut out the final 200m right before the stream crossing. at 7pm D will wonder 'where is the dog?' and find him in my laundry basket where he will sleep through the State of the Union and polling countdown as, hopefully, will i.

Free music downloads site in chaos as record giants pull out: Warner Music said it had not authorised the use of its tracks by Qtrax - and later Universal Music Group and EMI followed suit, saying they did not have licensing deals with Qtrax and discussions were continuing.

oops. who didn't get around to ironing out that little detail?

Friday, January 25, 2008

pee, poo and pshop

you suck at photoshop. you do. so let donnie show you how to suck less.

this is lesson 3; check out
lesson 1 and lesson 2.
[update -- hot off the presses: lesson #4]

don't sprain your vagina has been absorbed into the MyCo core taxonomy.

and here's an analog version: alison jackson's shots use look-a-likes of celebrities and public figures to create a photographic or filmic image, which challenges the observers' perception of reality by creating a false reality. in this gallery you'll find bill gates dancing with an ipod, tom croooz proselytising to his daughter, Our Glorious Leader pondering a rubik's cube... good stuff.

finally, after a shite week, this cheered me up: the Turd Burgler. it's not only gratifying to say -- like cat butler -- but it can be a rousing game as well. the Turd Burgler game set includes an indestructible, rubber Practice Poopie®, and an official looking rule book, called, "Poop Dreams" filled with 9 poop related yard games, using the Practice Poopie® as the game piece. The uniqueness comes from the many different markets we serve. It's a yard and garden tool for pet poop, rotten vegetables, and shedding fruit trees and whacking retarded myopic snorgoyles that actually pee shit okay maybe i added that part but it's app-row-poe.

btw this comes from a collection of the 14 Best Poop Gadgets.
because it's been that kind of week. onward, burglers.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

living for matilda

vicariously i have been following the heath ledger comment threads on the NYT and IDLYITW sites because i liked the guy and i'm a fucking ghoul, okay?? -plus it's a whackjob circus: the women are keening, the jesus freaks are leveraging the opp to convert some souls, and the dickweeds are wiping their hands and loudly proclaiming "good riddance" very dickweedishly.

here's one of my fave responses:

Wow. The vaginas have really been stricken with a good dose of insanity with this news. I haven't seen this many insane emotional women since Sex In The City was canceled.

Cheep up and live your lives, ladies....he didn't give a fuck about you.

By anonymous, on January 23, 2008 03:36:57

kinda puts it in perspective, don't it.

every 6th or so comment the same plaint arises: poor matilda will grow up without a daddy. what a selfish act. what kind of person would leave a child behind.

i'm not a parent so i don't see the whole picture here, but the expectation that you should stick around in a life you find unbearable SOLELY because you have a child raises my hackles.

my question to those of you who are parents is this: do you share this belief? and if so, is it something you consciously agree to when you decide to be a parent, or does it grow naturally once you're responsible for a dependent?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

trailer for Macheads: the movie

we're not THAT bad.
i repeat: we're not THAT BAD.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

nina loves her westie

dropped by nina's on the way home from work yesterday. haven't seen her in a month but last week she was unusually bad so i thought it my good christian duty to check in. when she opened the door in her bathrobe and polar bear slippers she looked like she'd lost 50lbs and gained 20years, but she cheered right up when she saw the carton of marlboro reds.

- you're a lifesaver, finn - she breathed, and as she accepted the offering a white blur shot down the stairwell behind her, skittered across the hardwood floor and slid into the doorjamb at my feet. the creature stood up, shook itself and fired off some barks that sounded like asthmatic coughs, then took off back down the hallway, missing the corner and careening into a kitchen chair. after a brief tussle with the legs of the chair, in which it seemed inexplicably tangled, it took off again. we heard the sound of nails chittering on wood floor, then another thump and staccato of hoarse coughs.

- is that a... dog? - i asked, tentatively. nina sighed.
- that's chloe. anna got her a couple weeks ago. she thought i needed something to care for.
- is she blind??
nina snorted.
- no. chloe's sweet and everything, but she's dumb as a fucking potato. in fact, i don't really know what her purpose is. her latest trick is to piddle whenever the doorbell rings, which is a couple times a day now that mrs. whackadoodle next door thinks her tuna casseroles will heal me. i don't know whether she's scared or just wants attention, chloe i mean, though that's probably true of mrs. noseynuts also.
- you two need that dude... you know, that guy on tv, the one that people call when they've tried everything...
- yeah, HIM - she agreed - god what is his name...
we both pondered. inspiration struck us at the same time, but i got the name out first.
- cesar millan. the dog whisperer.
nina shook her head.
- no. i was thinking of dr. kevorkian.

Monday, January 21, 2008

if it's brown, it's down

as of sat nite, pennsylvania's deer pop is one doe less, thanks to D.

he bagged it with a long bow right before dusk, when deer were venturing out in unusual numbers prompted by the canadian front rolling down from the hinterland.

when he shot her, the doe was quartering away, a perfect angle for hitting the vitals, and he was certain that if it wasn't a double-lung shot it was at least a single. a double-lung is ideal because the animal dies quickly, without any of the mess you get into if you puncture other internal organs like the stomach.

when shot in such a way, a deer will run, which is why you sit in your tree-stand for 30min to an hour before you get out to look for it. if pressured the deer will continue to flee, when you -- and it -- want it to follow its natural inclination and lie down to sleep.

so from his stand D watched the deer run 50yds then pause by the creek. her legs weren't wobbling yet, but he could see where his arrow lay on the ground below, having passed completely through her. it WAS a good shot, he told himself, she just needed to bed down in peace.

which is when the buck came. a little spike buck emerged from the undergrowth on the other side of the creek, saw the doe and crossed over, then began - as D said - "messing with her." as he tried to mount D's doe, he kept driving her up the creek and pressing her through thickets D said later he had to crawl on his belly to get through.

- oh that is just horrible - i exclaimed as he described what he'd seen, imagining the doe in distress, not understanding why she felt like this and why it was so hard to breathe and wanting to just lie down but she couldn't because this asshole was fucking around with her.

D was sympathetic, and puzzled.

- yeah, i don't know why. i mean, the rut is over, so i don't know what he was thinking. because during the rut, you know, they get crazy. in one of my hunting videos there's this doe who got shot and a buck was mating with her even though she's dead. the pheromones are that strong.
- i didn't need to know that - i told him.
- why? it's life. and you eat them.
- i do, but i couldn't kill one. i know they're overpopulated and what you're doing is, in the big picture, a good thing, but i could never do it.
- just like the cats. though you talk about it, you couldn't actually kill any of them.
- hrrrrr... - i prevaricated.
i'm pretty sure i couldwouldshould if i didn't think it'd put me on St. Francis' shit list and he'd drop me from his Friends on MySpace and then where would i be.

D found his doe sunday morning after 2 hours of tracking blood drops. she'd wandered about 300yds from where he hit her, then died mid-stride, he figures, as her legs were splayed, not curled to sleep. as he suspected, it was a single lung shot that also clipped the esophagus, explaining the green particulate on the body of the arrow. he saved the heart and is talking about preparing it for the game dinner this weekend. this time next week i may be back on the jameson.

Friday, January 18, 2008

TUAW intros the MB Air

here's a short real-world intro to the MacBook Air. the trackpad functionality i'm so chuffed about is shown briefly, and the MB Pro has a cameo role for comparison.

headlights on dark roads

after a shittyshitty day, my faith in man and good will toward most was restored multiple times yesterday after i was rear-ended at the signal behind pep boys on kirkwood highway.

first restoration of faith: it wasn't a hit-and-run. the guy who hit me dutifully followed me into a parking lot where we did the necessary bizness and waited for the cops to show. the snow continued to fall and a kid walked out of pep boys to a car next to mine. bundled up in a hoodie, only his face was visible. a cluster of scratch hairs on his chin was desperately trying to be a goatee. he looked about 15.

- yo'sup. youse all have a bender? - he asked us. i nodded. where at? - he wanted to know. i pointed to the signal.
- it's really slippery there. be careful.
- fuck yeah.
he walked over to the other car, surveyed the crunched front bumper. radiator cracked? he pronounced the word with an emphasis on RAD as in dude, and he addressed me, assuming the young chick had run into the sad-eyed man in the ratty overcoat and not vice-versa. i shrugged, and he crouched and scrutinised the bumper.
- you kin go to a junkyard, git a bumper for 200 bucks. you know Big Daddy Autoparts? - i shook my head, playing along because the man with basset hound eyes was now taking notes as eminem drew us a verbal map to Big Daddy.

- i wuz there last week. my girlfriend drove into a tree, fucked the bumper, cracked the RADiator. she call me from the acme parking lot. "my chin is bleeding" she say, and i'm all like what the fuck, how is the car? and she driving with my daughter! - he shook his head in mock disgust. i take it his daughter's fine, because there wasn't a bit of rancor in his voice.

- and she's still your girlfriend?

he looks me in the eye and for the first time, smiles. his smile is perfect, genuinely bright and captivating, a renholder smile. i fall in love a little.

- yeah, she still my girlfriend.
he ducks his head shyly then begins to clear the snow off his windows with his sleeve. this the ghetto way - he explains to me, then stops and examines a handful of snow, packs it together and hefts it experimentally. goddam - he exclaims - PERFECT.

bassetman and i are freezing and retreat into our vehicles. my windows fog immediately, for i've a thimble of gas remaining and don't want to waste it idling. 15min later a tap on the window rouses me in my igloo; bassetman reports the cops are still a dozen accidents behind, Nationwide doesn't need a police report to process the claim and am i okay with taking off. i am and so is my wee bladder.

now clear of snow, eminem's car is still parked alongside. i scan the parking lot for the 15-year old man with the world-winning smile, and i spot him lobbing snowballs over a chainlink fence, dodging returning fire from another child-at-heart seduced by the perfect snowball snow.

- i made a snap judgment on him with the first 6 words he uttered - i told my mom last night.

- sometimes you have to, finn - she told me.

- but there wasn't any meanness, or darkness that i saw in him. he was just HAPPY.

i get a marge simpson growl in response. she's not convinced, but she didn't see The Smile.

that was Restoration #2. #s 3, 4 and 5 were delivered from FMC, brian and laf, whose concerns were palpable in their emails and text messages as i shot off brief narratives from the igloo (reason #911 why i love mac).

finally, #6 came compliments of Liberty Mutual rep david spielvogel, who in the process of taking my claim information treated me like a human being and ensured the reporting necessaries were painless, nay, enjoyable.

- spielvogel - i tested the name he'd spelled out for me at the end of our convo - does that mean something? -spiel, like talk, vogel like... person??

- i think it means songbird - he answered.

am i dead?
am i bruce willis wandering amongst the living with a Quest i'm not yet aware of?
and, can i drink a bottle of jameson without any liver-y repercussions??

Thursday, January 17, 2008

for kath, somewhere down the line

there's a clever new Apple/PC skit up on combine a skyscraper and banner ad?? whooda thunk?

and that's about all you want me to say because i am crumpy, granky and at odds with the world right now.

UPDATE -- the orig ad's down, but you can watch the Tubed version.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

reason #011507 why i love apple

much digital ink has been spilled comparing steve jobs' keynote speeches with That Other Dude's. jobs' presentations -- and supporting slides -- tend to be visual and organic, bullet- and transfat-free.

take this graphic from yesterday's keynote (full pic deck is here). it compares the new MacBook Air's dimensions (in green) with those of the next-thinnest laptop on the market (in white).

with just a quick glance you get a sense of the relative dimensions. a second glance confirms that the thickest part of the Air is thinner than the thinnest part of a Sony TZ. so, for instance, if you're trying to conserve water, you should put the Sony in the reservoir tank of your toilet. for all other uses, go with the Air.

just how thin is the MacBook Air? instead of sleeping last night i did some research. my results summarised below.

Things the MacBook Air is THINNER thanThings it is THICKER than

A Tale of Two Citiesa campaign promise

a PS3
a Twister mat

a cat
the snorgoyles' IQ, combined

a dead cat on the road
a dead cat on the road after a week

the Hubble space telescope

E, after he eats too much pie
hot chocolate

a thermos of hot chocolate
a fart after too much hot chocolate

a taxi cab
the Wilmington subway (trick! no such thing!!)

the asteroid belt
the sound of silence

an aquarium filled with angelfish

does that put it in perspective for you?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Tipping Point

As part of our swim practise Saturday morning Glenn prescribed an underwater kickset and I had a flashback to middle school and one of Coach Kinney's workouts. Coach Kinney gave us underwater sets every other week -- he said that they made your lungs stronger and bigger and to me he said they would help my singing because I would be able to hold notes longer and with more depth.

I was terrible at them -- I could never make it to the far wall without breathing at least once, and I could read Coach's disappointment in his scowl and silence.

Betsy, on the other hand... man, Betsy had them nailed. As a fly specialist, Betsy had the underwater dolphin kick down pat, and she could not only make it to the far wall; she could make it most of the way back before breathing. Because of this she went off on her own intervals, briefly touching and streamlining off the wall to head back home while the rest of us watched, gasping and awaiting our send-off. She was so fluid and smooth, like she was water herself without bone; she made it look so easy.

The time I remember was two weeks before Spring Sectionals. This was our last full practise before we began to taper, and Coach Kinney pulled out the stops. We'd just done 3500 yards of IM and freestyle, and now he told us he wanted 20 x 25yds underwater NO BREATHING on 10sec rest. The first 5 or so weren't that bad, but after that I started sending up prayers for a miracle: please God let me be able to breathe water, or just smite me down right here and end my misery.

Betsy was particularly transcendent that day; I could barely make out the blue sluice of her swimsuit as she cut through the water. Her dad was sitting in his usual place, way far away from where Grace's mom sat knitting in her fuzzy poodle sweater. Imagining that Betsy's dad was watching me made me work harder. I wanted to show him I could be tough and strong, just like his daughter.

On the last 25, I told myself I would make it to the wall without breathing. I told myself that if I made it, those dreamy blue eyes would finally SEE me and Betsy's dad would sweep me up in his arms and we'd live happily ever after in a big brick house that didn't have cockroaches in the kitchen and neighbors who ran their vacuums all the time.

I pushed off the wall with my shoulders squeezing my ears and my body stretched long and narrow. I made the voices in my head go quiet and listened to the woosh-woosh-woosh sound of my body dolphining through the water. I made it! I didn't breathe once. And when my fingers touched the wall and I popped up with a great gasping breathe Coach Kinney gave me a quick thumbs-up sign then signaled to lane 4 where Betsy was.

- She's on 75 yards now - he murmured, meaning she was tripling the distance I'd just done. I couldn't see her yet so I stole a look up in the stands, and then I knew exactly where she was. We stood at the wall watching Betsy come in, the water barely stirring above her undulating form. Her swimcap broke the water and Coach placed his palm on it like he was administering a blessing. Betsy pushed her goggles up her forehead and stood red-faced but radiant, her ribcage expanding and contracting as she caught her breath. My eyes traveled down past her stomach and then stopped. I watched until I was sure, and when Coach turned away to the blackboard I squeezed her shoulder and pointed down. We both stared as threads of red bloomed around the crotch of her swimsuit and swirled like roses dissolving in the water.

- Betsy it CAME - I whispered, awestruck. After the school nurse gave us The Talk I started wearing sanitary napkins thinking I could make my period come, but Betsy called me a retard and said that wasn't the way it worked. She swore up and down that periods were gross and she was never going to have one.

We watched Betsy's blood curl into the water and over the drone of Coach's voice at the blackboard I heard the hitch of Betsy's breath. I looked at her face, and there was no more color. Around her eyes was pale and pinched.

- Bets?? - I probed. She didn't look at me, just curled her hands around the corner of the wall, squeezed until her knuckles shined pale under the skin then lifted and popped onto the deck in one quick motion. Without a word to Coach she streaked to the girls locker room; the door hissed shut behind her. Grace's mom was staring out the window while her fingers flew. Betsy's dad was standing now, and his eyes seemed to glitter. Maybe that was just the reflection of light off the water but all of the sudden I didn't want the house with the wall-to-wall carpet anymore. I wanted to go in the locker room. But when I humped myself onto the edge of the wall Coach Kinney stopped me with a hand.
- I'm not through here - he said.
- But I have to -
- I'm not finished.
I twisted toward the locker room but Mr. Billings had already come off the stands and was walking through the locker room door. He didn't look back and when the door closed behind him the clouded glass turned his figure wavy and insubstantial.

By the time the workout was over and Coach Kinney let us go, Betsy and her dad were gone. While I was drying my hair I saw a smear of red on the paper towel dispenser. I rubbed it with a damp kleenex and it came off right away.

Friday, January 11, 2008

latest results from the beauty contest

now that the primaries and squawkuses are in full swing, we're finally getting a sense of what's truly important to voters. iraq's a hot button, certainly, as is immigration and the economy. the response in NH to hillary clinton's televised choke-up indicated that voters will support her if they believe there's a chance she's a mammal.

but such issues are secondary.

- i was sitting with your grandmother last night - my mom told me - and we finished the nursery rhymes book.

my grandmother can't string words together in a sentence anymore, but she can rap out poems, lyrics and random French phrases. so now she and my mom communicate through song.

- there was an Examiner on the table so we started paging though it, looking at the pictures. grandmother saw a picture of mitt romney and pointed at it. she looked up at me with big eyes. finn, there was life there i haven't seen in years. "good looking"? -i asked her. she nodded slowly and grinned like a little kid in front of the ice cream truck. this is his constituency!!

- mother. under NO circumstances can you allow that woman to vote.

- don't worry. i'm on it.

Mitt Romney: the undisputed choice of the demented.

you can read more about Mitt Skywalker and the other political gladiators in this Star Wars Guide to the Candidates.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

presenteeism run amok

Subject: GB at home
From: MyCo office mgr
Date: 11:29am


Please keep GB in your thoughts and prayers while he recovers from pneumonia and a collapsed lung. His wife called me this morning and said the results from his tests yesterday came back with the collapsed lung. He is on a strict, heavy duty medication regimen and will not return to work until Monday.

If you need to reach him for any reason, you can call or email him. I know he is checking emails between naps.

there is absolutely no excuse for that kind of presentee-ist behavior, which makes people like me look abysmally inadequate. and loucypher agreed: i get a fucking hangnail and i'm out of reach.

EmCeeCarv just got an iphone, was showing it off to me and the Mick in the conference room yesterday.
- don't you just love it - i gushed. i don't gush for much, mind, but my phone falls into the Gush category.
- i... do - agreed MCC, not quite as gushily. my man already has DSL at home, so his phone isn't the umbilical cord mine is. i've got both of you on my Contacts Favorites - which is a double-click of the menu button away, reason #103 to love mac - so you're a double-click and touch away.

- not so fast, my good man - i interruptust - for my phone has the iFlyFirewall. it blocks all work-related intrusions - MCC looked crestfallen - and it works with GoogleMaps and DelDOT traffic control to get me home as quickly as possible. in fact, yesterday when there was that 18-wheeler overturned on 95S it turned into a helicopter and flew me home.

- i think i saw that on the news! - he gamely tried to play along.
- no you didn't - i snapped - we were invisible.

i think i will email GB to ask whether he can put together a 50pg proposal for me by monday. with his strict, heavy-duty medication diet he could come up with some mint stuff.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

my ticket in '08

D rang my cell at 6:36 this morning, sounding like his puppy just died. and it sorta did, i guess -- he's all cut up over obama's loss in new hampshire. he drank the barack koolaid and between debate coverage and poll returns he's gotten little sleep this week. i'm afraid he'll nod off on his way to work and ride his bicycle into a ditch.

here's one-a them online surveys that'll tell you how to vote so you don't have to think, watch television, or read the drudge report. if mitt romney pops up at the top of your line-up, you must let me know so i can take you off my christmas fruitcake list.

you want Change? this is MY ticket in 2008:

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

andrew zinn is tougher than you

saturday afternoon i texted alicia.
- off to UD swim meet rite now. impressed?
- u might b bored... just coached @ drexel all morning... ugh... 9000yds. one kid passed out.
- muscled men in speedos evrywhere -- how cd i be bored? passing out after 9000yds seems entirely reasonable.
- haha. that is how i got through college... 4 years of speedos.

i went to the UD vs. Towson swim meet at the urging of my swim coach (yes i have a swim coach now, yippee!!). the freestyle prodigy glenn coached at mckean is now the rockstar sprinter at UD; dude's name is andrew zinn. not quite The Heat, but respectable nonetheless.

the natatorium was packed when i showed up, and the crowd was rumbling to the finish of the men's 200 IM. shouts rose for "ZINN ZINN ZINN" on the final leg, and presumably zinn was the man who brought home the victory.

the gentleman beside me twitched with glee. how funny to be so caught up in someone else's race, i thought, dismissing my own twitches. i watched and marveled at the beauty of the men's 500 free (the winner consistently nailing 15 strokes per length, wow; last place was @ 19) and watched the crowd visibly wilt in sympathy during the women's 200 fly, when a women who'd held the lead since the gun was touched out and lost by 0.01 seconds.

the twitchy man was talking excitedly with the man on his right about andrew this and andrew that.
- excuse me - i said - are you talking about andrew zinn?
- yes. do you know him?
- no, but the guy i swim with, for, does. he used to coach for mckean.
- you mean glenn?
- yeah.
- oh, glenn's right there - and twitchy man pointed to where glenn stood one person down the rail.
- oh he's right there - i repeated, and waved down to glenn - do YOU know andrew?
- he's my son.

that would explain the glee, and excitement. poor man, i GRILLED him for information -- when did his son start swimming (late, at age 8), is he a natural athlete (a talented runner too) and does he do monster 9000yd training sessions (no, he's on restricted yardage because his shoulders are WRACKED).

there are only 4 more meets in the regular season before championships start in feb, so zinn's swimming career is winding down. there's masters swimming but sure that's a fraction of the glory of NCAA competition. each victory must be bittersweet as it brings him one step closer to the end. as we watched zinn set a new school and pool record in the 50 free (20.44), demolishing by 2/10 sec the standard he himself'd set last year, i need to know something.

- does he still love it? - i asked andrew's dad.
- i think he'll be happy to be done. his shoulders always hurt.

much respect to zinn for gitting the job done under duress. that takes guts man.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

reason #885 why i love apple

i missed music blogger heather browne on Live at the World Cafe on tuesday, but my iphone will play her archive with just a click on the link.

so easy.

have a good weekend all.

in which i bring The Heat

FattyTime is done; long live FattyTime. it's succeeded by the more enthusiastic, yet patient brother Base, to be followed sometime in march by Speed, who cracks a jagged whip and makes you weep into your pint afterward.

but that is later; for now it's miles and meters and yards galore. a new tri team's formed in the area and i started swimming with them on saturday mornings at the ungodly hour of 7am. i've found though that there are many benefits to getting in the pool that early on a weekend, to wit:
1. it's good reason cut down on the friday night hooch.

okay, there's ONE benefit. but it's a biggie.

tomorrow will be my third swim with these guys. last week i thought my arms were going to fall off during a set of 200s, but coach promoted me a lane and though that may be temporary the other outcome i don't believe is.
- you got a nickname now - brian informed me as we stood at the wall recovering.
- a nickname?
oh dear. it can't be any worse than Moose. can it?
- yeah. eric's dubbed you The Heat.
i leaned around bri to question the dubber.
- The Heat?
- yeah - eric clarified - cos when you get into the pool steam comes off the top and the water gets warmer. The Heat. or 212 for short.
i am irrationally pleased. i feel like i'm in 4th grade and made the first round of selections in dodgeball.
- i really have a nickname??? - and a cool one at that.
- you do. welcome to the club.

shoulders and back ached 'til sunday night, but it was worth it.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

those aren't coffee grounds

whilst we were holidaying, the MyCo mice ran amok. they got into the hot chocolate and spicy pretzel mix, built a communal nest in an empty Dell box and pooed a circuitous path across my bookshelf.

what impressed me most was the RimPoo:

i mean, how is that even possible?? i have seen animals do some amazing things but truly i have difficulty conceiving how a mouse could simultaneously perch on the rim of a coffee cup and poo. perhaps his mousie friends gathered below and steadied him? did he brace himself on a book and squeeze one out? or perhaps he stood atop the CDs and flung his poo from there.

the miraculousness of the occurrence still doesn't negate the fact that there's mouseshit on my coffee mug.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

a poodle and a purse

sunday afternoon i procrastinated a run until dusk threatened. as soon as i set foot on trail the rain started, and me without a jacket. my mood grew even grimmer as i considered:
1. my whinging hamstring
2. life (or at least 2 months) without hooch (or at least w/o Jameson)
3. the gut i can no longer suck in, and my lack of motivation to do anything about it.

yeah my life is HARD, you don't need to tell me.

despite the hammy, i started to perk up after 30min and when i encountered another soppy soul standing by an access path to the creek, i smiled by reflex and greeted him: hello. he was wearing a broad-rimmed hat that partially shadowed his face and turned his eyes into coins of flat darkness. he looked at me straight-on as i passed and offered no response other than a derisive narrowing of the eye. fuck you, i thought, then felt braver when i'd gotten 10m on him. it's probably not as bad as you think - i hollered back, the patter of rain on leaves the only response.

my bravery flagged a bit on the return trip but he was gone. a blur of pink down by the creek caught my eye and i detoured down the access path to investigate. where the path opened up to the bank of the creek there was a small stuffed poodle, very pink, and a matching plush purse propped at the base of a spice bush. i got close enough to see that rain had tamped down the poodle's tail and ears, and the purse was monogrammed "Bridie." feeling as though i were trespassing, i backed away and turned my ipod off for the rest of my run.

- how was it? - D asked cheerily when i clumped back into the house.
- i need to find another trail - i said.